Deferred Prosecutions in Washington State

Deferred Prosecutions

Everyone knows that if you are facing a criminal charge, you can either plead guilty or go to trial. With a Driving Under the Influence charge in Washington State, there is another option: A Deferred Prosecution.

A Deferred Prosecution is a contract, nothing more. By entering into the contract, you are agreeing to do five things. If you do the five things then at the end of the contract, your criminal case is dismissed. While you are under the contract, you have not been convicted of the crime, which means: no jail time and no driver’s license suspension. This is a contract that you can only do once in your lifetime. The five things are required by statute; that means that a Judge must include all five in the contract.

Now the five things:

First, you must get an alcohol evaluation and the evaluation must say that you are an alcoholic – which means you will have two years of alcohol classes. A lesser evaluation will disqualify you from being granted a Deferred Prosecution.

Second, probation for five years. There are two kinds of probation: Active and Inactive. Active probation means that you will likely have a Probation Officer that you will have to report to (at least once) who will act as the enforcement arm of the court; making sure that you do the five things you’re supposed to under the contract. There is generally a fee for active probation. Although Courts vary across the State as to how much, it’s generally around $50 per month.

Inactive probation is where you no longer have a Probation Officer and your only requirement is good behavior, i.e. don’t get accused of any new criminal activity. Inactive probation generally has neither a monthly fee nor a probation officer, but can have a fee for periodic “record checks” to make sure there are no new criminal law violations.

Third, good behavior for five years. This requirement means you can have no new criminal law violations. This does not include (generally) speeding tickets or parking tickets – but anything that places you at risk for jail time will probably violate this requirement.

Fourth, go to a Victims Impact Panel. The VIP is a class where you listen to family members of people who have been killed by drunk drivers. It can vary in length but is typically two hours long.

Fifth, have an Ignition Interlock Device installed in any vehicle you drive. Although there is pending legislation that would allow you to drive an employer’s vehicle without an IID, at the time of this writing it has not been passed into law.

When does a Deferred Prosecution make sense?

There are two times when going through a Deferred Prosecution makes sense: First, if you have had a prior DUI within the last seven years; and Second, if you are accused of other crimes that happened within one week of the DUI charge.

As you can see by looking at the mandatory minimum sentencing requirements (See DUI Penalties []), a second DUI within a seven year period carries a significant amount of jail time, e.g. with a high BAC level you would be required to get 45 days of jail followed by 90 days of home detention and a driver’s license loss of 900 days (almost three years). A judge could impose more jail time, but not less. Most people cannot financially survive this type of sentence.

If you are accused of multiple crimes, including DUI, then a Deferred Prosecution can make sense- even for a first time DUI. For example, if you were accused of DUI, Reckless Driving, Possession of Marijuana, etc then the potential penalties could make the Deferred worthwhile since we could include those other crimes within the Deferred Prosecution contract.

Should I go through a Deferred Prosecution on my first DUI?

In most cases it does not make sense to use a Deferred Prosecution on a first DUI charge. There are three reasons for this.

First, the penalties for your first DUI are financially survivable. The highest mandatory minimum is two days in jail. See the DUI Penalties above. While this won’t be fun, it will most likely not cause you to lose your job.

Second, entering into a Deferred Prosecution counts as a prior for sentencing on any subsequent DUI convictions. If you are like most of the clients I have met with over the years, right now you’re thinking that you will never get another DUI as long as you live; but did you plan on getting this one? In most cases, it is better to save your Deferred Prosecution (since you can only do it once per lifetime) for a second DUI charge that you hope never comes. Think of it as an insurance policy that you hope you never need.

Third, a Deferred Prosecution is a real opportunity for someone with a significant alcohol or drug problem because it can delete the jail time and license suspension associated with a DUI conviction. However, some people are tempted to sign up for a Deferred without fully realizing that the Deferred will require two years of alcohol classes.

People run into problems in two ways:

1) A non-alcoholic defendant tempted by the good parts of a Deferred will resent having to go to the two years of alcohol classes. When the choice is presented to “blow off” one of the classes, they may since they didn’t really need the classes anyway. However, once you start missing classes, you can get expelled – which means you are now in violation of your Deferred Prosecution’s requirement for treatment.

2) If you are really an alcoholic, you need to face the possibility that you may relapse and get a second DUI. If that happens, a Deferred Prosecution can really save the day.

What should I watch out for with a Deferred Prosecution?

The most common problem encountered with a Deferred Prosecution is running out of money. The cost of treatment varies, but is always expensive. Some health insurance companies will cover the expense – so check with yours. There can be government help for people addicted to alcohol or drugs.

Once the Judge signs the Order for Deferred Prosecution, you will be bound by the contract’s terms. This means that even if the sole reason for getting kicked out of treatment is lack of financial ability to pay for it, you will still be in breach of the contract.

The way to avoid this problem is to look at the costs involved before you enter into the Deferred Prosecution.

What happens if I don’t comply with the contract?

If there is an allegation that you have breached one (or more) of the five requirements, the Court will schedule a hearing to determine what action to take. If you get convicted of a new DUI, the Court will have no choice but to revoke the Deferred Prosecution. An Attorney may not be able to stop the Court from revoking your Deferred but may be able to help with the sentence you receive. If you breach your contract in some other way, the Court will have discretion on what action to take. If this happens, call an attorney immediately. They can help you come up with a plan to save your Deferred Prosecution.

If the Court revokes your Deferred Prosecution, then the Judge will read the police reports submitted when you first entered the Deferred and probably find you guilty. There will be no jury trial and no witnesses. The Court will make its decision solely based on the police reports. In other words, if you breach the contract you will be found guilty of the underlying DUI. This means that the mandatory minimum probation times and driver’s license loss will start. It also means that the Court will determine the amount of fines and jail time to be imposed.


Deferred Prosecutions offer a fantastic opportunity for someone with a severe alcohol or drug addiction problem to get the help they need; while avoiding the draconian penalties associated with a DUI conviction. If you recognize you are an addict and are ready to make a change then the Deferred Prosecution program can be a godsend. If you aren’t an addict or are simply not ready to eliminate drugs or alcohol from your life, then don’t waste your one chance at this program; you may well regret it.

Fighting for Freedom and General Washington, By: Michael Justin Lee

Born as twins thirteen years prior, Alexander and Amanda Lee had been inseparable since that time. They had grown up in a loving household, a small farm in Virginia during the 1700's. Both found safety and support on this farm; as part of a famous family, their parents were able to provide them with a well-developed education, including tutoring in language and literature. They grow to be more than simply intelligent and learned, though. Through the attention of their parents and congregants of their local church, both Alexander and Amanda became quite skillful in the use of guns as well as hard labor on the farm. Through it all, the virtues of faith, patriotism and family became the focus of their lives.

When revolution swept through the colonies, however, they knew that they must be a part of the battle for independence from Britain. Having been brought up with stories of their famous uncle, Richard Lee, they wanted to experience all that the larger world had to offer, despite the dangers of war. Finding a way to join the battle became a passion for both. A larger boy, Alexander would be able to pass for sixteen, old enough to enlist properly in the Continental Army. Through a bit more trickery and cunning, Amanda would soon follow, learning fighting skills that would be necessary for the victory of the burgeoning military of the country that would be America. Along the way, they would meet the most illustrious figures of the time, including General Washington and Benjamin Franklin. Despite the challenges that they faced over the years, Alexander and Amanda remained true to their values ​​as well as each other.

In Fighting for Freedom and General Washington, Michael Justin Lee provides readers with an engrossing, historically-based novel for young adults. Although a tale of two youthful twins entering war might seem questionable at first glance, the plot is well executed and believable, avoiding many of the common pitfalls found in similar writings. The introduction of historical figures such as Washington and Franklin is not contrived but rather accurate based on their writings as well as their activities during the war. Too, these entrances of famous founding fathers and fighters are smoothly written and steer clear of lengthy paragraphs of explanatory material. Additionally, the language of the novel is appropriate for the time period and still readily understood by today's young readers. All things considered, Lee's novel has a well-paced plot, enjoyable writing style, and certainly contains a historical accuracy in its presentation.

Indeed, Lee has done an amazing job of writing a historical novel for young adults that will teach, inspire, and entertain. In a market that sees dominates by zombies and vampires, his Fighting for Freedom and General Washington certainly will appeal to more conservative readers who will appreciate the values ​​that form the basis for the work. Parents-especially those that are homeschooling or sometimes simply want to spur some interest in American history among their children-will find this novel a perfect starting point for discussion or perhaps a companion to related study. Written for younger readers, this novel is also appropriate for adult readers who want an easy and patriotic read. Michael Justin Lee's Fighting for Freedom and General Washington offers something for every reader and is a welcome addition to the young adult books now available.

Assisted Reproduction Opportunities and Legal Rights in Washington

For women across the globe, bearing and raising children is a wonderful opportunity that they hope to experience some day. Unfortunately, not all women are able to achieve this due to medical concerns. Through modern science, many women and couples are able to conceive or raise a child through assisted reproduction. With over 1% of live births in Washington state occurring with the help of assisted reproduction methods, it is easy to see that technology is helping many parents to expand their families. The applied methods vary depending on the situation, but in any scenario it is important to establish and understand the rights of all parties concerned.

Contracts are an essential part in any assisted reproduction situation, to establish guidelines such as visitation concerns, legal rights, and other matters. The arrangement in question is very personal to all parties involved, and the agreement can be adapted to fit every individual scenario. Contracts will help ensure that paperwork such as birth certificates are issued properly to avoid any conflicts that could cause problems through a child's life. An adoption attorney can be extremely helpful in assuring that all issues are fully addressed and both parties are happy with the arrangements.

Women can artificial conceive through a number of scenarios. Donated sperm may be used to impregnate a woman. Washington law outlines that in these scenarios the donor would have no legal rights to the resulting child, in addition to no legal or financial responsibility.

Women can also help other women conceive through gamete donation. This process involves medically stimulating ovum production and retrieval the ovum through a minimally invasive surgery. The resulting ova are then used to create an embryo that will be implanted into another woman's uterus to develop. This process is able to help women who are unable to produce ovum properly or women who are unable to safely house a fetus in their own uterus.

Even in the most seemingly straight-forward situations, contracts are imperative in establishing the rights of any donors, recipients, or other participants. Parenthood can excite surprising and personal feelings, and any parties changing their minds can cause a massive legal conflict if the agreement is not written down.

According to the Uniform Parentage Act, as defined in the Revised Code of Washington Section 26, if a woman gives birth through assisted reproduction her spouse is usually recognized as a legal parent of the child. To secure this role, however, it is sometimes advisable to legally adopt the child. For instance, for same-sex couples, if the mother's partner or spouse adopts the child it will greatly increase the chances of maintaining legal rights in all states.

Science has provided wonderful opportunities for aspiring parents across Washington, but it is important to take the legal steps necessary to ensure that the process is completed with no complications.

Frugal Travel Tips For Washington DC

You can not say you've seen the US without seeing Washington DC Although hotels are expensive and parking a challenge, the nation's capital is full of free attractions and things to do.

The White House And The Pentagon

Entrance to President's Park is free and gives the frugal traveler great views of the White House. The visitors center has some very nice permanent exhibits. Tours of the White House can be arranged for groups of 10 or more. However applications have to be received at least six months in advance.

Tours are also available of the Pentagon. These also have to be arranged well ahead of time.

Lincoln Memorial, Jefferson Memorial, Washington Monument

The National Mall And Memorial Parks contain some of the US's most important monuments. These include The Lincoln Memorial, Jefferson Memorial, and the Washington Monument within walking distances of each other. The Mall itself is a great place to picnic and people watch. Entrance is free

Smithsonian Castle

When I think of the Smithsonian, I think of the Smithsonian Castle, the first building. Entrance as with all of the 17 Smithsonian buildings and the National Zoo is free. There are also free tours available. The building itself is beautiful. The exhibits? It's the Smithsonian.

National Museum of Natural History

Another Smithsonian Museum, the National Museum Of Natural History is a favorite with kids. They have tarantula feedings, dinosaurs, and preserved animals. As with all the Smithsonian Museums, the National Museum Of Natural History is free.

National Museum Of American History

Another free Smithsonian Museum, the National Museum Of American History showcases American culture and history. From Dorothy's ruby ​​red slippers to full sized locomotives, think of an American icon and you can likely find it in this museum.

Washington DC is full of free tourist attractions with American politics, history, and culture as the focus. The Smithsonian Museums alone, a great rainy day alternative, can take weeks to explore. The city is a must see for both American visitors and residents.

Royal Carlock Washington DC Hand Colored Photography

Royal Hubert Carlock (1899-1970) was born in Paris Crossing, Indiana. One of six children he was born to Benjamin and Ellen Carlock. After graduating from Indiana University, Carlock married Ethel Wohrer in 1917. He entered the U.S. Army near the end of World War I where he specialized in aerial photography as part of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and after the War had ended, the couple moved to Washington DC in 1918 where their first daughter was born.

After his discharge from the Army, Carlock secured employment with a photography firm named C.O Buckingham who at the time was producing hand-painted photographs of the chief tourist attractions in Washington, DC. This explains the obvious similarity in style between Carlock and Buckingham hand-colored pictures.

Ethel Carlock died in 1920 during an influenza epidemic, leaving Carlock a widower with a 15 month-old baby.

Carlock was fascinated by the architecture and national treasures found in our nation’s capital. He focused his photographic and hand-coloring skills on subjects found in-and-around the Washington DC area. The only photographer in his company, his black & white photographs were hand-painted in oils and sold to the multitude of tourists visiting our nation’s capital during the post World War I era.

In 1922 Carlock married his 2nd wife, Emma Clarke. In that same year he also left the employment of the Buckingham Studios and opened his own photography studio at 406 13th Street NW in Washington, DC. Carlock’s “Snappy Snap Shop” specialized in quick development of tourist’s film along with the sale of his increasingly famous hand-colored photographs of the Washington DC landmarks and monuments, including the White House, Jefferson Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, and Washington Monuments, the U.S. Capital Building, and of course, Washington’s colorful cherry blossoms. Working together as a team, Carlock took the pictures and Emma, along with other colorists, hand-tinted them.

We have seen Carlock pictures identified in three distinct manners:

• Matted pictures signed “Carlock” on the lower right corner beneath the picture, with or without a title lower left.

• Un-matted, close-framed pictures with “Carlock” being embossed on the lower-left corner of the actual picture.

• No marking on the picture or matting, but simply a “Carlock” picture label on the backing.

Jane Crandall has reported that Royal Carlock was her uncle and that both of her parents worked for him at some point. She also reported that her mother, Julia Carlock, was one of Carlock’s colorists and would bring pictures home to color in the evening. Jane Crandall also reported that many of the signatures found on Carlock pictures were actually signed by her mother.

Royal Carlock kept his business running into the 1940’s. Collector Myke Ellis has reported that the 1943 Polk Washington D.C. Address Directory listed Royal Carlock as working at 913 Pennsylvania Avenue. Even during the Depression years when so many other photographers saw their businesses either decline or closed their doors, Carlock’s business flourished due primarily to the constant high level of tourism, and the large and growing number of people who were gainfully employed by the U.S. Government.

Although his photographs usually sold best at cherry blossom time, for several years Carlock also produced a Christmas Card which contained a hand-colored photo of Washington DC. These are considered quite rare with collectors today.

As with all other early 20th c. hand-colored photographers, the advent of color film led to the decline in Carlock’s hand-colored photography business. The primary emphasis of his business turned to photo refinishing until 1957 when he retired from the photography business to devote his life to conservation.

In 1962 his 40-year marriage to Emma dissolved and in 1964 he married Grace Diane Knapp.

Suffering from cardiac problems during the final years of his life, Royal Carlock died from a heart attack in 1970. His ashes were buried on a small isle in a lagoon at the National Isaac Walton League Conservation Park near Gaithersburg, MD.

Carlock pictures are still relatively inexpensive and quite affordable. Their low price, good quality, and interesting subject matter will probably continue to make them collectible. The only limitation is that there are only approximately 10 different Washington DC scenes to collect. The next time you see a Washington DC picture in a shop or show, take a closer look at it. It will probably be a Royal Carlock hand-colored photograph.

Watchers of the Past ((On the 50th Year Reunion, Washington High School, St. Paul, MN)(1965))

I have touched the age where it is easy, or perhaps as easy, to part with the departed as well as with the living-

That said, part of my life shall stay behind with you, my dear old High School Alumni, old friends!

And here is that tribute to that end.

Now that I see that my life is in the wintery season of God’s prearranged years, I realize how preoccupied, how pensive, how pondering it has been.

I’ve taken to rethinking the journals in my mind of those High School years and days so long ago-

As now it is the 50th Anniversary Year, and a forthcoming reunion but a few steps away…

To an old man’s weakness, I`ve learned: pain, love, fear, God, hunger, things that cannot be learned in books, or by hearsay, but experienced, practiced, expressed; by, travel, fortitude, and perseverance!

I’ve learned the long way-for some things take time, such as understanding the human failings of others, and mine!

And surely you have too!

To act instead of reacting, to my thinking, not my feelings-

To focus on the good and clean in the world, not all is contaminated!

By not judging another’s sin, if not knowing its cause!

And I’ve learned them quite well, as perhaps many of us have.

And as they say, the hard way!

Always for me, in my younger day, the hard way.

How vain it is for me to think anyone should remember me, from those far-off days, perhaps a few!

Where fell tenderly in my youth, a rain of life, where now falls the shadow of death, and a few last requests

I hope no more regrets!

The trophies and the nobler spoils of time I leave behind.

How does one say, I’m still here I hope you are! Knowing so well, so many have gone!

So many voices crying from the dust.

Not all as of old, but some with the blaze of steel from war long ago, and the voice of war’s command, takes precedence!

I have been there, and beheld the deathless star upon the brows of men.

And whose streets with tears are wet, from the dark and cruel state of some untimely death, those once we knew from High School:

Dying before their time, whose light they craved, ere, now a world away: yet set free, save they have found their way, by and by, through the true vine where every branch He purgeth, has beareth fruit, and brings forth more fruit!

Alas! How distant they are to us, to us watchers of the past!

Left behind, to celebrate our once memorable youth, and their once earthly presence too… I give to them with earnest, the laurels from my brow!

As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, without the vine, lest he not be withered and cast into the fire… ?

Thus, I pray He abideth in me, and I in him, so I can bring honor unto them-

Lo! In what shadowy and mysterious ways we all went on to our allotted ways; O to those everlasting gates, those once far-off gates we so longed to chase:

For a fairer day that waits, for new splendors and dawns, selfish bonds, waiting for love to be, and sometimes unfound, only to be set free to search again! And sometimes to no end!

Living from one season to another beyond seasons of dismay, seeking always seeking God’s bountiful grace-

As if in a race!

I for one see life brief, broken and imposing, as if hastening to its end, with tales to tell:

At times swineherd drinking, rooted in my youth sly and shy, and light with my thighs, chasing milk skinned fleshly women, by the moon-shade light, hissing like a viper for wayside brides!

At times too blunt, like a fox an ox, with a pretext:

After butterfat goose-shaped girls, with breasts full of honey, snout blunt and drunk in a uproar vomiting out my youth:

Quick at love, and so I was until I found my just pilgrimage.

And perhaps, so many of us were, not so unlike the white owl who searches the night, for the worm, the bird or the mouse, claws that could rip out a throat, to swallow up and spit out: under a dipping moon, high as a kite, like a dropped camel, with a twisted leg.

To such sultry biding ways, I SAY, Oh, time enough, those memories creep cold that was when I had a coal black, black soul!

That was when I was half a man, and then some: sizzling, gusty young man, the other part was all beast.

Never dying for a woman, but simmering like a calf in milky grass, but always finding a cat in the flame.

I for one see life long, long enough, if you have lived enough.

Not waiting for tomorrow, yet awaiting a dream that shall not altogether die, before I die, to awake to my divine journey

-but we often get lost along the way, as I did, then found to follow one’s dream, once again!

If indeed, God permits!

The Dream, a lament, to find it I had to tiptoe shy in the telltale woods, and I could not find it until I was a gusty near middle-aged man and a half, where I slapped the rude owl from its branch and he seesawed down to the ground, I wooed his wicked eyes, for he was a demon in disguise, who had followed me half my life-

But I had learned in life how to track his fiery prints.

Once leaned, never forgotten!

And once found dispensed of him: to earth, air, water, and fire with some miracle muscle, and a prayer, and there I saw him this hunchbacked, lulled black ghoul, with dingle-torn eyes hanging deep in dark-spacious ebon framed, cold lifeless sockets, –

Sockets with expanse, and no gleam of light…

They contained no heat, there he stood until crock-crow in midair, soaring out my window, cawing for his lost home!

And then he evaporated as if into some willy-nilly, williwaw dew!

Into some muster seed in some mildew meadow…

Strange to say, but I shall, have we not all been between the devil and the deep sea?

Stuck in a desperate strait?

Where God, or his seraph steps in, whispers: “No more… pretense, it’s time for the truth, no avoiding the issue, -lest, ay!” And that ay!… is deep regret!

And sometimes we listen, and sometimes not, and sometimes we doubt and seem not to be able to control it!

Especially standing at an empty threshold, the unknown, until the door is pushed open and we are shown absoluteness-

All such things we must go through, after we leave High School!

Wherein, there wasn’t any guessing by then.

Yes, I’ve seen enough of the devil, and perhaps so have you.

Some of us have reached beyond our dreams, with Almighty God’s blessings, I have tried, reaching pinnacles against the dawn! Did I say ‘tried?’ I have reached them.

Going beyond our limits, for we came out of a daring age.

Now, seeing how small we are in the greater plan,

– Now with age, we must draw up against the Night our last plan, or forever plight, if I dare call it that!

Each face facing the best-beloved’s face.

And let me end this poem by saying: to watchers of the past,

Be ye lifted up, for a fairer day awaits.

For on this short day we will surely sail, liken to ship-shaped clouds, with guardian angels, forever and day, by all the vows given by the King of Kings…

-to the ignited mount, by Heaven’s gates, to be judged and weighed, -once called Calvary!

No: 4756/4-2 & 3-2015 © All Rights Reserved by: Dlsiluk

Drawing by the author2014 © Dennis L. Siluk Dr. h.c.

Note: This poem is a tribute by the author to his longtime schoolmates, of 1965, it is not associated, nor does it represent the feelings or ideas in any way with anyone other than himself, to include: organizations, or planning of the forthcoming event for the ’50th Anniversary Reunion of Washington High School, 1965′ St. Paul, Minnesota’ due in September, of 2015. This is a private work of the Poet Laureate, Dr. Dennis L. Siluk, and is independent of any group.

Scholarship Money for STEM Students in Washington

In the tight-budget times we face today, paying for college is one of the more challenging prospects for homeschooling families, families who, for the most part, get by on only one income. That’s the reason why the increase in the Washington Opportunity Scholarship from $1,000 to $5,000 is such great news for local students.

This scholarship is for Washington residents studying at in-state institutions who plan to or are majoring in science, technology, engineering, math (often called STEM) and health-care fields, and who meet an income threshold that’s considered low- to middle-income (up to $102,200 for a family of four). The aim of this scholarship is to encourage more students to go into these high-paying, high-demand fields.

In 2011, legislation passed which created the public-private Opportunity Scholarship, and directors hope to increase its effectiveness and reach in the coming years. Currently, most of the scholarship money comes from Microsoft and Boeing, which together have contributed $50 million. The state has contributed $5 million. “There’s a reason the business community is in on this,” said State Representative Ross Hunter; “the high-tech community needs these graduates.”

In 2013, nearly 1,900 Washington State students will receive this scholarship, and homeschool students are just as eligible as private and public school students. This is one of the easiest scholarships to get, with no essay requirement. Students must have a 2.75 grade-point average and fill out the Federal Application for Free Student Aid (FAFSA).

If your homeschool student is interested in any of the STEM subjects, be sure to have them complete at least 3 years of science, and 4 years of math during high school. If they are good at math, consider encouraging them to pursue a college degree in one of the STEM majors. This could lead to larger college scholarships, lower college costs, a higher chance of employment after college, and larger potential salary after college.

Competition in these majors can be tough at some colleges, and admittance is highly selective. To best position your student for success, give them a rigorous college prep education, and make sure their high school transcript accurately reflects their abilities and accomplishments. To strengthen their high school records, consider adding some outside courses, such as community college classes, online courses, or credit by exam such as AP or CLEP, which will corroborate their homeschool transcript with outside documentation. Good letters of recommendation, a strong activity and awards list, and solid SAT/ACT scores will go a long way to ensure success in admittance and scholarship awards.

Condos In Everett Washington

There are condos for sale all over the United States. Their prices vary as much as their locations (from inexpensive to very expensive). Some people use condos for vacations, while others live in their condo year round. In many cases you have to do less yard work than living in a home. You do not have neighbors surrounding you, like an apartment. You will probably have to pay a homeowners' association fee, which you would not have to in some apartments, or if you had your own home (depending on where your home is located). Condos are also a great investment idea because they are popular as vacation rentals.

Homeowners' Association:
Living in a condominium is a great idea if you are sick of yard work. This is because condos have little or no yards, and the small amount of yard you do have will be taken care of by someone from the homeowners' association. If you are looking at condos for sale, you should realize that if your condo is in a neighborhood of condos, that you will probably be required to belong to a homeowners association. The homeowners' association pays the person who keeps up all of the yards. They also fix anything that goes wrong with your condo, including electrical, sewage, heating, and other problems. While all of that is great, you do have to pay a monthly homeowners association fee, which is probably not less than $ 100. If you run into problems with your homeowners' association, there are lawyers that specialize in condominium litigation.

Your neighborhood:
Some condos are located next to golf courses. Others have swimming pools, weight training facilities, miniature golf, recreation centers, and game rooms. The accessories that come with the condo may determine the age of people that live in the neighborhood. If you are interested in being around people that are your age, simply ask the manager of the condos what age the people who live in the neighborhoods are.

Benefits of staying in a condo on your vacation:
While there are many condos for sale, there are also condos for rent. Since many people use their condo as a second home, or vacation home, there are condos in great vacation spots that can be rented for a week or longer. Renting a condo has some benefits that a hotel does not: condos come with a kitchen, washer and dryer, and more space than a hotel room.

Renting out a condo:
After you have purchased your own condo, you may want to look for other condos for sale in the area, purchase them, and rent them out. This is one good way you can invest your money. Sometimes condos are attached, forming a duplex. You may purchase the duplex condo, and rent out half of it. If your condo is in a vacation area, you can choose to rent it out a week-by-week, or you can rent it out permanently.

One thing to remember if you rent out a property: you may have to pay an income tax. You will also have to pay property tax, and for someone to clean out the condo after each renter, unless you choose to do it yourself. Figure this into any amount that you charge for rent.

Professor Hugh White Discusses Australia's Future Between Washington and Beijing

The Quarterly Essays published by Black Inc. tend to vary in quality from the woeful to the brilliant. Most the writers of these essays are of a left-wing, progressive bent. The essays land themselves in trouble when they're written by authors who are opinionated but have little of real worth to say, or if the essayist is basically an intellectual lightweight. The best essays are informative and intellectually stimulating. My favorites have been Waleed Aly's What's Right? and Peter Hartcher's Bipolar Nation . I will not go into which ones which I think were the worst.

The 39th essay in the series is by Professor Hugh White, who specializes in defense and security issues. He's not a hot head, but rather a mild mannered analyst not motivated by political ideology. This makes his work refreshingly candid and devoid of dogma. You can trust his judgments to be based on a solid core of common sense.

Australia Caught Between China and the United States

Power Shift: Australia's Future Between Washington and Beijing examines where Australia stands in the Asian region with China nudging the United States for the position of global superpower. The Chinese economy has made massive leaps and bounds over the past decade. If it can keep up its current pace of economic growth, then it's only a matter of time before China overtakes the US as the world's largest economy. As White notes, once a nation becomes the richest in the world, they automatically have the money and command of resources to become the most powerful too. But where does this leave Australia?

As China grows, and as its economic power threatens the United States, it is Australia that stands to get qualified in the charge for global preeminence. Australia, Hugh White notes, has had an easy run security wise for a long time, depending on the US and not having to think too deeply about defense strategy. If, as a nation, Australia does not keep its eye on this slowly but surely shifting balance of power, Australians could find themselves in an uncomfortable position.

White outlines various scenarios, all which demand careful study and attention, and all of which will cost Australia one way or another – whether it be by spending more on defense, exposing ourselves to a greater chance of war, or simply having to reduce our international standing. None of this makes for cheery reading, highlighting as it does the need for Australia to think carefully and make some very serious decisions. With the rise of China, Australia's hey days of easy security will be over.

This is fairly ironic, as China's rise has been a godsend for Australia's economy. China doing well and buying our resources has been great for the nation's coffers, but while we enjoy the money, it will mean making tough decisions in the future.

Hugh White wrote this essay in the hope of focusing the minds of politicians on this looming problem, but as the nation grapples with pressing and of the moment issues like the carbon tax and refugees, it seems that it's too easy for us to put this problem on the backburner. Reading Hugh White's brilliant essay focuses the mind wonderfully on these issues of defense and security. Anyone interested in serious public discussion should read this essay.

Power Shift: Australia's Future Between Washington and Beijing , by Hugh White . Published by Black Inc. ISBN: 9781863954884

George Washington and His Premonitions of the Three Perils Facing the New Republic

George Washington was not only the first President of the United States, but also wrote before his death, about a visit by an angel warning him of the three perils the new nation faced. This was written down and attached with his will. To a curious reader, sometimes symbolic of certain events that occurred long after his death, with one peril still remaining unfulfilled.

George Washington had retreated for the winter to Valley Forge, snowed in and still fighting a war. He retired one afternoon to his office, and claimed an angel visited him, showing him the three perils, the new nation faced in the future.

What were these three perils?

1. The First Peril

The Angel pointed to both Europe and the United States, while between them at sea, a cloud rose, and the President saw two nations fighting, his own, and a European nation. This probably was the Revolutionary War.

2. The Second Peril

America was now sprouting new villages and Towns, while the angel sprinkled water over these settlements, a dark cloud came over from Africa. And George Washington heard the words, "Union," as the angel laid a split flag across the map of the new nation. This to most of us, this could symbolize the first American civil war.

3. The Third Peril

The Angel blew a trumpet, sprinkling water over the Continents of Africa, Asia, Europe and North America. A dark cloud gathered over these continents, as armies marched through them, and the United states was also invaded The sky lit up to become a hundred 'Suns, "as the angel was reputed to say," Son of the Republic, look and learn , "as the North American invasion fails and the remains of the armies that still remain victorious, in the ruins of a post-war country.

Obviously, the third peril claims at some point there could be a war involving, Africa, Asia, Europe and the United States. Whilst, opposing armies invade and fight in each other territories, the USA is itself invaded. The suns could represent strategic nuclear strikes, during this great war.

These three so-called perils not only were the final mystery behind the first President, but to many "proof" that even the most respected, and some say powerful men, believe in the occult. George Washington was not the first or the last president that has spoken of "angels", or "ghosts." and had premonitions.